Future of Viaducts Splits Views in Metro Vancouver

Seven-in-ten residents believe the decision only benefits developers and not the average resident.

Vancouver, BC – The recent decision by Vancouver City Council to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts remains contentious for residents of Metro Vancouver, a new Insights West poll has found.

The online survey of a representative sample of Metro Vancouver residents shows that more than a third of residents (36%) support the decision to remove the viaducts, while two-in-five (40%) are opposed. Almost one-in-four (23%) are not sure.

Support for the removal of the viaducts is highest among men (40%) and residents aged 18-to-34 (39%). In the city of Vancouver, supporters of City Council’s decision outnumber opponents (45% to 36%). In the rest of Metro Vancouver, opposition is stronger (42% to 32%).


Across Metro Vancouver, 73% of residents are either “very familiar” or “moderately familiar” with discussions related to the future of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts.

When asked about four proposed benefits that the removal of the viaducts may bring, a majority of Metro Vancouverites say that it will increase park space in downtown Vancouver (58%) and create opportunities for new housing (57%). However, only 48% feel that it saves money because no seismic upgrades will be needed, and just a third (32%) believe the removal will lead people to walk more and use their cars less.

When it comes to drawbacks, large majorities of Metro Vancouver residents think there is no guarantee that the housing associated with the removal of the viaducts will be affordable (85%) and say the decision only benefits developers, and not the average resident (71%). In addition, 70% think the removal will increase traffic in the area, and 58% expect it will make it more difficult for people to get to BC Place stadium.

“There is no consensus on the removal of the viaducts in Metro Vancouver,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “It is important to note that even supporters of Vancouver City Council’s decision are looking at developers, and not citizens, as the clear beneficiaries of this course of action.”

Three-in-four Metro Vancouverites (75%) would like Vancouver City Council to consider the costs and benefits of other options, including rehabilitation and replacement, before removing the viaducts. In addition, two-thirds (68%) believe the cost of removing the viaducts—estimated at $200 million—would be better spent on other projects the city needs.

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 30 to November 2, 2015, among 547 adult residents of Metro Vancouver. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.2 percentage points. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: Colin Knowles